Top tips

Thanks for confirming your address, and welcome to my list! The next edition should reach you at the beginning of next month.

While you wait, here are 5 best practices you can start using right now.

1. Use an accessible font

You can download Atkinson Hyperlegible font for free (named after Braille Institute founder, J. Robert Atkinson). What makes it different from traditional typography design is that it focuses on letterform distinction to increase character recognition, ultimately improving readability.

2. Calculate the reading level

An accessible site starts with accessible content. Cognitive accessibility has been a major focus of the ongoing WCAG 3 draft, which recommends aiming for a lower secondary (7-9th grade) reading level. Use The Hemingway App to calculate the reading level of your content as you write it and make it easily understandable.

3. Reduce your digital weight

Your digital life isn't as green as you think it is. To counter your impact, there are things you can do. Like only uploading an image if it's really useful and ensuring you've optimised the file first. Every time you add code, it should also be the leanest code possible. You can use Website Carbon to measure the impact of your website.

4. Don't center text

Left-aligned text is easier to read than centered text for paragraphs. This is because when you center your text, the starting place of each line changes. This forces people to work harder to find where each line begins. Without a straight left edge, there is no consistent place where users can move their eyes to when they complete each line.

5. Don't use "read more" buttons

When someone navigates a page using links alone, “Read more” would be read out of context. It doesn’t give us the ability to scan a page for specific information in a quick or easy way. Using vague and uninformative phrasing for hyperlinks will also decrease search engine performance and content findability.